Last Thursday, Maurya Simon read some of her poems about punctuation at Marin Poetry Center. They were delightful. The next morning, I found this darker one from a poet I don’t know:


The comma is a heart murmur, tremor in hamstring. He is an almost; someone
calling in time about the man staggering out of American Bar into traffic—
mouths gasping into headlights.

He is headlights; two boy quickly push off each other. Commas dangling like
belt buckles from their ankled jeans as they run out to the brushes.

More than pause—comma as toddler asleep on crisp sheets, body fetaled in big snow
beneath I-40. Someone should call in time before comma becomes a period,
 ,                                                                                   his legs curled in against his body.

Jake Skeets

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